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Dietician provides tips for packing healthy school lunches

Enticing kids to eat nutritious meals
Posted at 12:10 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 15:11:18-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Back to school and back to the kitchen!

When students learned from home, they had access to a full fridge during the day but not anymore. Parents are once again packing lunches for their children.

“There needs to be great care taken in how nutritious these meals are and making sure that it’s more than adequate to support growth and development," said Adventist Health Senior Director of Nutrition Angela Newton.

Sandwiches are a classic lunch item but Newton said consider mixing them up. Try a whole wheat tortilla or pita pocket and load on the veggies, going beyond the typical lettuce and tomato.

“Make it interesting. We want to increase the maximum levels of antioxidants. Make it bright and colorful. Use things like zucchini or carrots," said Newton.

Also, don’t forget about leftovers.

“We do want to decrease our carbon footprints so if you made something last night, go ahead and incorporate it into what you’re going to do for lunch the next day," said Newton.

And it’s alright to play with your food! Newton said things kids can dunk and dip are easy, fun snacks.

“They want their hands and their fingers on everything," she said. "Things like guacamole, using avocados which are very high in good fats, very flavorful, things that they’ve already manipulated and then they get to dunk, it’s just all good."

Include children in the process. Newton said they’re more likely to eat their lunch when they help pack it.

“So involve them, invite them in. Help them to put their hands on and participate in what’s happening in the kitchen," she said.

Fueling kids up for a fun, successful and healthy school year.